Vedas Are Con­sid­ered As Divine Knowl­edge

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - AN EPIPHANY OF IDEAS - Dis­course: Mata Am­ri­tanan­damayi

The term ‘Veda’ means knowl­edge. The source of all knowl­edge is God. The rishis heard – with a mind made one-pointed by med­i­ta­tion – the knowl­edge that is­sued from God in the form of sound. They im­parted that knowl­edge to their dis­ci­ples. Thus, the eter­nal truths that emerged from the Supreme, and which the rishis per­ceived, are what we mean by the Vedas. As the rishis had heard these truths and had im­parted the knowl­edge to their dis­ci­ples through words, the Vedas are known as shruti. The rishis who per­ceived the mantras are known as mantra-drash­tas.

Vedas are the ex­pe­ri­ence of the rishis, who re­alised the supreme Truth. If there was some­one who wit­nessed a mur­der, the tes­ti­mony of that wit­ness is ac­cepted as proof in a court of law, not the words of a thou­sand peo­ple who say that they did not wit­ness the mur­der. Vedas are not the ex­pe­ri­ence of just one rishi, but that of count­less rishis who re­alised the truth. So let’s not negate the Vedas just be­cause we have not ex­pe­ri­enced the truth. The in­tel­li­gent one strives to walk the path the rishis have shown and tries to ex­pe­ri­ence that eter­nal truth for one­self.

Vedas con­tain all the eter­nal truths re­lat­ing to God and the uni­verse. They are not the work of any in­di­vid­ual, but eter­nal truths that emerged from the Supreme. Hence the Vedas are con­sid­ered apau­rusheya, im­per­sonal. These Vedas are the root of all dhar­mas – laws of right­eous­ness – and the ba­sis of all scrip­tures and knowl­edge.

Vedic truths trans­mit good­ness ev­ery­where. The Vedas aim to up­lift ev­ery­one spir­i­tu­ally and ma­te­ri­ally. There is no place for sec­tar­i­an­ism in the Vedas. They con­tain prin­ci­ples that pro­mote peace and con­tent­ment through­out the world. The mes­sage of the rishis is en­cap­su­lated by the mantra: ‘Lokah samas­tah sukhina bha­vantu’ – ‘May all be­ings ev­ery­where be happy’. The Vedas are not blindly ac­cepted just be­cause they are hailed as apau­rusheya. On the con­trary, it is be­cause they up­hold uni­ver­sal val­ues such as truth, right­eous­ness, aus­ter­ity, com­pas­sion, love, sac­ri­fice and non-vi­o­lence that Hin­dus re­gard the Vedas as be­ing of ut­most sanc­tity and as the most au­thor­i­ta­tive scrip­ture.

It is true that the Vedas are not easy to un­der­stand. How­ever, one can un­der­stand the essence and im­port of the Vedas through the Upan­ishads. The Bhag­wad Gita is a dis­til­la­tion of the quin­tes­sence of all the Upan­ishads. Rishis have il­lu­mined the es­sen­tial prin­ci­ples of the Vedas in the Iti­hasas and Pu­ranas through the use of sto­ries and his­tor­i­cal events so that or­di­nary peo­ple can un­der­stand those prin­ci­ples.

Over and above this, divine in­car­na­tions and ma­hat­mas have been born in ev­ery age to in­ter­pret the Vedic prin­ci­ples ac­cord­ing to the needs of the time. The ad­vice of ma­hat­mas is sim­ple and easy for or­di­nary peo­ple to un­der­stand.

Vedas are as vast as the ocean. When sea­wa­ter evap­o­rates as a re­sult of sun­light and falls as rain, it ful­fils all the needs of peo­ple. In the same way, ma­hat­mas, who abide in the truth, con­vey the essence of the Vedas in a way that or­di­nary peo­ple can un­der­stand eas­ily and prac­tise, and which is suited to the age in which they live. There­fore, for those who can­not un­der­stand the Vedas on their own, it is enough if they fol­low the teach­ings of a ma­hatma.


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